Friday, April 28, 2017

Life, Loss and Stewardship

EnduranceIntrospection.com - Full Article

By Patti Stedman | Apr 24, 2017

Damn. This one is tough to write.

Ned has been a huge part of my life for nearly twenty years. And tomorrow we will be letting him go.

Some creatures — human or equine or canine — just have more personality than others. Ned has been mammoth in more than stature. When we were competing heavily and walked up to vet in, I’d see the eyes go up and down the 16+H, 1200-pound, size 4-hooved creature and I’d just say “he’s half Trakehner.”

He was meant to be the competition dressage horse whose half-Arabian self could condition with my husband.

Ned was naughty. From the day I went to look at him to purchase — he kicked at me twice when I did his flexion tests — to the last time I swung a leg over him, he had a propensity for mischief. His bolting won me a severe concussion and a fractured pelvic rim when he was just five. I learned to sit up and ride him from Moment One, helmet firmly buckled on. Still, I fell off him more times than I’ve come off in my life previous or since. He taught me fear.

Bucking was too pedestrian for Ned, so he perfected the art of leaping. The better he felt, the more he leapt. I learned to keep my reins short, my shoulders behind my seat bones and my heels down. Walter Zettl, with whom I took dressage lessons back then implored me to keep him in dressage for at least a year, “stay off ze trail.”

Back when I was first getting into the sport, there was no Facebook. There was Ridecamp. I recall asking the group, after Ned spooked on a trail and promptly jumped down a steep, treed embankment, if there was hope for a horse that appeared to have little sense of self-preservation. Almost universally, I was told to move on to a safer horse. For some reason, I didn’t.

I know why, in retrospect. It was because when he was on, he was the most amazing ride. Big gaits and full of attitude, smooth and handsome. When he wasn’t misbehaving — and to be clear, he was mostly gentlemanly — I felt like a dressage queen sitting up there on that powerful keg of horseflesh. He could dance like no other horse. And I liked him. Naughty as he was, he wasn’t mean. He was smart and opinionated and had a ridiculous sense of humor, if a horse can have such a thing. He was all about Ned...

Read more here:
http://enduranceintrospection.com/wp/life-loss-and-stewardship/

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Subtle Signs of Improper Saddle Fit

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Heather Smith Thomas
Apr 16, 2017

Saddle fit is a hot topic. Everyone seems to know someone battling an ill-fitting saddle, if they’re not dealing with it themselves. But first things first: What are some early warning signs that your tack and your horse’s back aren’t meshing?

Clues include dry spots under the saddle after a workout (indicating too much pressure in small areas, inhibiting sweat glands). You might also see hair starting to rub the wrong way or broken off, falling out, or replaced by white hairs due to pressure necrosis (tissue death) or damage to pigment-producing portions of the hair follicles. Wet spots and dry spots indicate saddle pressure isn’t evenly distributed.

“It isn’t always the saddle causing a dry spot,” says Mike Scott, a South Carolina-based equine massage therapist and Master Saddlers Association-certified fitter. “It could be the way the rider is sitting with uneven weight distribution. Or, if the horse is high-headed with its back inverted, there may not be any pressure in certain areas because the back is hollow instead of rounded. There are multiple reasons, but uneven pressure is something to look for...”

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/39069/subtle-signs-of-improper-saddle-fit?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=health-news&utm_campaign=04-18-2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

AHC Urges Horse Community to Take Part in USDA Agricultural Census

Horsecouncil.org

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is preparing to conduct its 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture. Horses will be included in the Census. Every five years, USDA-NASS conducts an agriculture census to determine the number of U.S. farms and ranches and gather vital information about U.S agriculture, including the horse community. The census is a valuable tool to help the USDA determine land use and ownership, livestock populations, operator characteristics, production practices, farm income as well as other important information.

The announcement of the USDA-NASS census comes as the American Horse Council has initiated their 2017 Equine Industry Economic Impact Study. The AHC economic study questionnaire will be finalized this month and begin collecting data in the following weeks. These two separate, yet concurrent studies will provide both the industry and the public with a strong image of the state of the industry in 2017. The AHC strongly encourages everyone who is offered the opportunity to participate in either, or both, of these studies to do so. The economic impact and the census are critical to promoting the horse industry.

The AHC continues to promote the USDA-NASS census due to the critical need for the horse community to be properly accounted for in the federal governments agricultural findings. The information collected by the Census will be used to develop federal and state agricultural policy for the next five years. It’s vital all farms and ranches with horses participate in the census so the USDA, and the nation at large, has accurate information regarding the size and scope of the horse community.

Farm or ranch owners who participated in the last Census in 2012 will automatically be mailed a survey that can be filled in and mailed back. If a farm or ranch was not part of the 2012 Census or has not received a form in the mail, the owner can go to the USDA’s census website http://www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June.

According to the USDA guidelines for the Census, a farm is any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products, including horses, were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.

Further information on the 2017 Census of Agriculture can be found on the USDA’s website http://www.agcensus.usda.gov.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Trouble With Mud

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Heather Smith Thomas
Apr 9, 2017

When the going gets muddy, the muddy get hoof problems; here's what to look out for.

Horses’ hooves are finicky when it comes to moisture. In arid environments they tend to dry out, and in wet conditions they become too soft. If you had to choose between the two, however, dry would probably be the winner.

Continuous exposure to moisture can cause a long list of hoof problems, ranging from difficult-to-manage soft, sensitive feet that won’t hold their shape or nails, to various types of damage and infections in the capsule and its structures. Then there are the injuries due to slipping and scrambling in deep mud or bad footing, lost bell boots, and pulled-off shoes. In short, keeping horses’ feet sound and healthy can be a difficult challenge when weather is wet and footing precarious...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/35687/the-trouble-with-mud?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=reader-favorites&utm_campaign=04-14-2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Condition Your Horse Like a Pro

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM
Apr 12, 2017

How to help endurance horses, venters, racehorses, or Western performance horses reach peak fitness

That competitive edge. It might look different for different disciplines, but this intangible has its roots in the same concept: conditioning. In short, conditioning develops the musculoskeletal, neurologic, and cardiovascular systems so they can perform athletic endeavors with the greatest efficiency and the least stress on the body.

In this article we’ll learn how riders from different disciplines condition their horses. While there is no magic recipe fit for all equestrian sports, the basic principles of conditioning remain the same across the board...

The Basics

To get fit for competition, your horse needs to be “legged up,” which entails preparing the musculoskeletal system to withstand a certain amount of impact, speed, and duration of work...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/39051/condition-your-horse-like-a-pro

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The 2017 Egyptian Event: For the Love of the Horse

Lexington, KY | Apr 10, 2017

The 37th Annual Egyptian Event will be held June 7-10, 2017 at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Entitled For the Love of the Horse, this year’s Event and will celebrate the devotion and dedication that Egyptian Arabian horses have ignited in owners, breeders and enthusiasts throughout history.

Attendees from over 15 countries throughout North & South America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia travel to Lexington each year to enjoy the Event’s world-class competition, festivities, educational activities, camaraderie and of course, the world’s most beautiful horses.

Show chair and Pyramid Society Vice President, Lisa Cifrese states, “The Egyptian Event is the only show of its kind in America dedicated to featuring the world’s top caliber Egyptian Arabian horses. Our members share a deep passion for the rich history and rare bloodlines of these horses, and often state that attending the Event each year is like coming home.”

Competitions and activities scheduled for this year’s Event include: halter and performance classes, championships and awards ceremonies, formal and casual socials, educational seminars, youth & family activities, unique shopping opportunities and auctions, liberty classes, a stick horse class and more. The Event will also feature the ever-popular Egyptian Breeders’ Challenge Auction on Thursday, June 8th, sponsored by DeShazer Arabians and offering breedings to over 30 exquisite Straight Egyptian stallions. On Friday evening, June 9th, attendees will enjoy The Pyramid Society’s annual Gala & Fundraiser at Fasig Tipton. The evening will begin with cocktails and superb dining followed by a live auction of fine art and other unique offerings and closing out the evening with dancing to the exciting sounds of The Body & Soul Band.

Special thanks to The Egyptian Event’s Signature Sponsor, Arabians Ltd. of Waco, Texas for their ongoing support of The Pyramid Society, The Egyptian Event and the Egyptian Arabian horse.

Sincere gratitude also goes to Albaydaa Stud of Egypt as The Pyramid Society’s Emissary Sponsor and provider of this year’s Egyptian Event show trophies and ribbons.

For a complete show schedule and spectator or participant information, visit www.theegyptianevent.com, email: info@pyramidsociety.org or call (859) 231-0771.


The Egyptian Event is hosted each year by The Pyramid Society, the world’s leading international membership organization dedicated to the Egyptian Arabian horse. Founded in 1969, The Society has maintained its mission to promote and advance these unique bloodlines through educational venues, local and regional activities, international representation and an active online community.

For more information, contact:
Carol Aldridge
The Pyramid Society
4067 Iron Works Parkway, Suite 1, Lexington, KY 40511
Ph: (859) 231-0771, Info@pyramidsociety.org, www.pyramidsociety.org

Monday, April 10, 2017

I Bought Him For His Brain …

EnduranceIntrospection.com - Full Story

by Patti Stedman | Apr 10, 2017

This week I am vacationing with my brother’s family in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
My nieces are almost “up and out” as I like to call it, in their late teens and early twenties, and the youngest two are here, with friends in tow.

I turn 50 this year.

The platitudes I heard in my youth (largely ignored) have come home to roost.

“Youth is wasted on the young.”
“Just wait ’til you’re my age … ”
“If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.”

Everything from quips about metabolism, sun exposure, financial security, to notions about taking risks, and the benefits of sleep.
At 50, you are solidly who you are.

I was astounded to hear, over dinner conversation, that one of my niece’s friends had recently tattooed on an arm — “Love yours.” That’s pretty connected and heady insight for a barely twenty-something.

Perhaps this generation won’t be our ruination. (This was something I heard a lot about my own generation from folks in the grandparents’ age-range.)

I take secret joy at the uncanny personality traits I share with my older brother.

Each morning, we are the first to rise, within minutes of each other. We’re quiet and seek coffee, then immediately settle into work, or at the hotel on our way to our destination, do a tap dance of happy feet. We are anxious for the folks who sleep to a more civilized time to join us so we can hit the road.

But don’t rush us if we are on our own timeline.

When he’s in the kitchen cooking, like me, he just wants to be left alone. Help? No, thanks. I stay away. I get it.

Our Dad is just the same. Add one more vote to the “it’s all in the genes” bucket.

I marvel at my nieces. They are witty and sharp and irreverent and so uniquely them.

Our generations are so different. They are attached to their electronic devices in a fierce way, they are acutely aware of their appearance — my peers didn’t have our eyebrows “done” or sit in shops getting pedicures in our teen years — and part of me envies their self-awareness, another mourns their freedom from the burden of self-criticism.

They fight. They are cruel. As I walk on the beach, I contemplate sitting them down, admonishing them for the sharp words and the associated hurt feelings that lie deep after the battle is over. My brother and I were torturous to one another.

But the platitudes would be lost in the generational translation. If I were lucky, they might recall them as they hit my age, so what’s the point? We must make our own mistakes, take our own path, and the comfortable and peaceful ease with which my brother and I share space is a testament to the fact that we do learn, we forgive, we find a restful place to settle in with one another.
We find our lane.

I like walking alone on the beach. There’s something about the sound of the waves, the seeking out of the ‘just right’ texture and firmness of sand. I didn’t have time to paint my toenails before I left. They are bare and plain. The teens’ nails are done, of course, various shades of pastels and pinks and bright colors. I feel unfinished for a few moments as I stroll along, like a woman caught with her hair in a mess in her sweats at the grocery store by someone she’d prefer to impress.

I turn back for our rental house, hoping I’ll be able to spot our beach access stairway from the dozens that look exactly alike.
I find myself following my own footsteps. They are clear and straight and firm, and I recognize instinctively my own despite all the others. The width, the narrowness of the heel, the depth of the push-off, but most of all, I recognize the path chosen. No longer am I thinking of my feet with regard to their decoration, or their unsightly callouses in need of a good pumice stone, but the fact that they have carried me, held me up, propelled me forward (and occasionally off course) for nearly half a century.
The last year or two have been for me, lived in a bit of a fog. For reasons I cannot say, I had to choose a path that left me starting over in a way that I never imagined. It was the right thing to do, I can say that as sure as I can look in a mirror, hard, and tell myself I could begin again. These were both things I did as a mantra of sorts, during days and nights where I was unsure of either. My friends and Richard held space for my temporary insanity. Some battles you wage alone.

It has only been in the last few months that the fog has cleared a bit. I stopped waiting to live until ‘things were better.’
That, of course, was mostly because things had gotten better.

With Ace and Ned, my long-time partners and 100-mile horses retired (Ace due to ringbone; Ned due to growing melanomas), I put it out gently to the universe that I was open to a new horse for me. Sure, Richard had Sarge and Wynne and I was happily riding both, but there is something about a horse of your own. A partner.

As these things happen, I’ve found, horses started to appear. Some rejected outright, some needed a visit.

Enter Iggy. I hope his former owner will forgive me for changing his barn name...

Read more here:
http://enduranceintrospection.com/wp/i-bought-him-for-his-brain/

Friday, April 07, 2017

Carbohydrates Defined

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Nettie Liburt, MS, PhD, PAS
Mar 29, 2017

Carbohydrates are the main source of dietary energy for horses and are important for fast, quick burning power to blast out of the gate or clear a jump.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates, also known as saccharides, are made up of sugar molecules and classified as either structural or nonstructural. Structural carbohydrates contribute to the fiber portion of the horse’s diet, while nonstructural carbohydrates (you might have heard them called NSCs) do not.

Monosaccharides contain one sugar molecule (e.g. glucose, fructose, and mannose). Disaccharides contain two sugar molecules (lactose and maltose). Oligosaccharides contain several sugar molecules, of which the most common in horse feeds is fructooligosaccharide. Polysaccharides contain 10 or more sugar molecules, and are more commonly known as starch, cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/37925/carbohydrates-defined?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=nutrition&utm_campaign=04-03-2017

Thursday, April 06, 2017

American Military Horses and Mules Remembered Today

NEWS RELEASE

One Hundred Years Ago Today, One Million American Horses and Mules were Joined by American Soldiers in World War One


LEXINGTON, Ky (April 6, 2017) Today the United States commemorates its World War One Centennial, marking the 100th anniversary of its entry into the war, and Brooke USA is officially launching its Horse Heroes program to honor the one million American horses and mules who also served. Brooke USA’s goal is to raise one million dollars this year through its Horse Heroes program – one dollar in memory of each of those American horses and mules, to fund equine welfare programs in some of the poorest countries around the world. See Brooke USA’s special Horse Heroes edition of its newsletter: http://conta.cc/2oa7UKN

***

Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which exists solely to support the overseas work of Brooke, the world's largest international equine welfare charity. For more than 80 years, Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of horses, donkeys and mules who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. Brooke's scientifically proven, practical and sustainable solutions to enormous welfare challenges improve the lives of equine animals and the people who depend on them across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central America. This year alone, Brooke reached 2 million equines, benefiting 12 million people in the developing world. To learn more, visit BrookeUSA.org.

Cindy Rullman, Brooke USA
859-296-0037
Cindy.Rullman@BrookeUSA.org

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Novel Equine Deworming Principles, Procedures in the Works

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
Apr 4, 2017

After the introduction of safe, effective, easy-to-administer chemical dewormers in the 1960s, the equine industry enjoyed the luxury of being able to control equine internal parasites with a simple push of a plunger.

Parasite-related conditions such as colic, diarrhea, poor hair coat, ill-thrift, poor performance, etc. were essentially eradicated. Rotational deworming programs—involving the frequent administration of chemical dewormers with various products—rapidly became the mainstay. Almost hand-in-hand with the use of those dewormers, however, came the age of resistance: Populations of internal parasites that could not be killed by those coveted chemical dewormers.

“Populations of roundworms and small strongyles resistant to chemical dewormers, also called anthelmintics, have been identified in all parts of the world,” explained Martin Nielsen, DVM, PhD, Dipl. EVPC, ACVM, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington. “This once again puts horses at risk for the development of parasite-related diseases.”

There are only three classes of chemical dewormers (benzimidazoles, tetrahydropyrimidines, and macrocyclic lactones), and parasites have developed either established or developing resistance to all three. Combined with the fact that there are no new chemical dewormers in the pipeline for horses (a process that usually takes a minimum of five years), horses with once-treatable parasite-related health issues are now in the pre-1960s position of having no (or very few at the least) treatment options.

“New, nonchemical deworming options are necessary to continue to control equine internal parasites and optimize horse health, welfare, and quality of life,” said Nielsen...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/36473/novel-equine-deworming-principles-procedures-in-the-works?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=health-news&utm_campaign=04-04-2017

How to Back a Trailer

MelNewton.com - Full Article

March 28, 2017
Posted by Melinda

Backing a trailer is an essential skill as I was reminded over and over and OVER this year. Whether you have to put your trailer into a back-in only angled parking spot at the barn, make a “U” turn at a T intersection, navigate a tight ride camp, or turn around in your best friends driveway – knowing how to back a trailer is something you can’t afford to put off any longer.

There is 1 simple trick and 2 skills you need to master NOW.

I’m not going to lie. Certain truck/trailer combinations are easier to back and maneuver than others. My standard-cab long bed pick up + trailer was an absolute dream and I could wiggle my three-horse ANYWHERE. The Dodge MEGA cab 4 door turns-like-a-cruise-liner truck paired with any size trailer is an exercise in patience and near misses as I constantly mis-judge the semi-truck like room it needs to maneuver. BUT, the concepts are exactly the same. You are going to have to practice to get a feel of *your* particular rig, but my “trick” and the execution of the 2 basic skills is exactly the same whether you have a goose-neck, bumper pull, long bed, short bed etc.

The Trick
Don’t try to figure out the physics of how the truck is doing X while the trailer is doing Y. Just do this....

Read more here:
http://melnewton.com/2017/how-to-back-a-trailer/

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Endurance Riding and Einstein

Enduranceintrospection.com - Full Article

by Patti Stedman | Mar 28, 2017

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. –Mahatma Ghandi

When we first got into the sport of distance riding, we were no Einsteins, that’s for sure. But we certainly had his enthusiasm for mistakes!

Let me tell you about our first competition.

It was a 20-mile Novice Competitive Trail Ride sponsored by OAATS, near Akron, Ohio, a mere 3 hour drive from home. Our sum total of formal education in the sport was watching Mollie Krumlaw-Smith teaching a brief segment at Equine Affaire in Ohio several months prior.

Richard was competing on his barely 5 year old Arabian, Shantih. I had my 4 year old draft cross mare, the one I’d purchased to do some lower level dressage with, Tess.

To say that Tess was a drafty girl would be like saying Shantih was “green broke.” Both are the kindest possible descriptions.

We’d “conditioned” a bit, riding at Allegany State Park on a loop of trail that we were quite certain must be about 14 miles in distance, which turned out to be about 8 or 9. (No GPS back then and we hadn’t a clue about pacing. We were out there for hours, it had to be a long way, right?)

Richard had purchased a “custom made” saddle for endurance. It was a thing of beauty. Did it ever really fit Shantih? I kind of doubt it, but by the time he was six and had gone from a spindly creature to a broad specimen, I guarantee you it did not.

We bought a used truck camper, entered the ride, left after work on Friday so that we could settle in and relax on Saturday and then compete on Sunday before driving home.

I neatly organized my clothes for the weekend and left them folded on our bed. They never made it to the camper.

We got a little confused on the directions to the ride camp, got lost (and almost broke up right there on the highway outside of Akron), and arrived at camp so late that no one was there to greet us. So we just parked out of the way, tied one horse to each side of the trailer with a hay net full of hay and a bucket of water, and called it a night.

Tess ate her hay in no time and reminded me –gently (as was her way)– to refill it, by kicking the trailer hub cap with her size four shoes, and if that was too subtle, she picked up her water bucket with her teeth and clanged that against the aluminum. The dents from both remain to this day, sort of a testimony to our ignorance and Tess’ love of an endless hay buffet...

Read more here:
http://enduranceintrospection.com/wp/endurance-riding-and-einstein/

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Study: Post-Exercise Snacks Benefit Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Mar 17, 2017

Your horse just had a fabulous workout, got really sweaty, and used up a lot of energy. Now what does he want you to do?

A) Put him back in his stall or paddock and say, “Good job, Buck. Lunch’ll be ready in an hour.”
B) Load him up in the trailer and head for home, where plenty of food and water is waiting for him.
C) Feed and water him right away, and give him plenty of time to finish his food.

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/34350/study-post-exercise-snacks-benefit-horses?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=reader-favorites&utm_campaign=03-24-2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

4 Misconceptions About Alfalfa

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Heather Smith Thomas
Mar 21, 2017

Despite all the science-backed suggestions about feeding alfalfa, it remains a misunderstood forage. The following are a few misconceptions worth clarifying.
Myth: An alfalfa-rich diet causes kidney problems.

“A normal, healthy horse can metabolize and excrete the extra protein in alfalfa just fine, if the horse has adequate water,” says Ray Smith, PhD, forage extension specialist at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. Horses with kidney disease shouldn’t consume a high-protein diet (such as alfalfa), but the alfalfa itself won’t cause kidney disease...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/38962/4-misconceptions-about-alfalfa?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=reader-favorites&utm_campaign=03-24-2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Have You Created a Training Plan Yet?

EatSleepRideRepeat.com - Full Article

MARCH 20, 2017
by SARAH

March is a tough time of year for getting out riding. I don’t know about you, but by this time, I am no longer excited about the snow and the cold. I find more excuses not to ride than i would have early in the winter, even though I know that now is the time to start ramping up my training. Its just the cold…. I am so sick of it. It has gone on long enough! This year is particularly bad, because we had a brilliant warm snap in February, so going back to temps near -20C feel more like I am jumping into the arctic ocean than looking toward spring.

So what do I do instead? I make my plan for the year! Its a great time to start because it will help me be accountable for the next few weeks while temps remain below 0, but it will also get me psyched up (or perhaps psyched out) because I get to see that the ride season is really not that far out and I have a clear path to get there. Yay!

Unless you are a spreadsheet whiz/junkie like myself, you may feel a little overwhelmed, so today I will share with you what I use to plan my rides.

1. I start with my main goal and a ride calendar...

Read more here:
https://eatsleepriderepeat.com/2017/03/20/have-you-created-a-training-plan-yet/

Parking Lot Ride

MelNewton.com - Full Article

March 23, 2017 Posted by Melinda Newton

Not going to lie, riding the 18 year-old in endless circles around the parking lot was not how I envisioned my first day of spring ride.

Epic spring rains followed by epic sunny skies made for a muddy horse that was perfect for a bareback jaunt in the blooming orchards.

That picture is as close as I got to the lovely blossoms.

Passively refusing to sidle up to the mounting block. Sticking going forward despite kicking heels. Spooking at non-existent monsters between trailers, violent spooking at 3 bikes riding down the deserted road. Leaning and hollowing and not walking in straight lines, offering a 1 mph walk or a bolty trot.

OK then.

Circles and more circles. Yielding to leg pressure. Yielding to the bit. Nope, not taking gait or speed preferences at this time from the pony. That’s a bird. That’s a glint of sunshine. THAT my dear is a leaf.

20 minutes later I had a rideable horse and I was out of riding time...

Read more here:
http://melnewton.com/2017/parking-lot-ride/

Monday, March 20, 2017

Endurance and Conscious Competence

Enduranceintrospection.com - Full Article

by Patti Stedman | Nov 19, 2014 | Patti's Blog

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.
–Jiddu Krishnamurti


Long before I joined AERC’s Education Committee, I’ve been a teacher.

I come by it genetically, I think. My mother was a third grade teacher and my Dad has a gift for sharing ideas and telling stories to illustrate a point. So I combined my passion for horses and teaching by becoming a certified riding instructor during college before realizing that health insurance and a steady income were going to be beneficial to a theoretical ‘grown up.’

But even as my career changed and evolved to what it is today, teaching has been what I love to do. I think part of it is because I am addicted to learning; I sometimes think I got caught in the intellectual curiosity of a 4th grader. I want to know why and how.

One of my favorite models about learning is the Conscious/Competence matrix, which has been attributed to several different individuals. Never mind that, I think what’s most fascinating is how it fits in with our sport.
We all know that endurance riding has a steep learning curve; I don’t know a single endurance rider, even those with great success, who will not admit to having made dozens of mistakes at the start of their career. Most of us will admit that we still make mistakes, and sadly, most of these come at the expense of our horse’s well-being and therefore we try hard not to make the same mistake repeatedly.

As we’ve begun formalizing and encouraging members to conduct Endurance Clinics and mentor new riders, one of the phenomena I notice is where riders seem to fit in the below matrix:...

Read more here:
http://enduranceintrospection.com/wp/endurance-and-conscious-competence-or-not/

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Is Your Deworming Protocol Helping Make Worms Resistant?

USEF.org

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Mar 13, 2017, 11:00 AM EST

Here’s the bad news: worms are becoming resistant to our efforts to kill them, thanks in part to traditional deworming protocols that called for dosing horses every two months. That was the thinking when the first broad-spectrum dewormers (also called anthelmintics) hit the market back in the 1960s, but over the decades that protocol helped the worms become less sensitive to the medicine. “And there are no new dewormers available for immediate release,” said Dr. Jacquelene Pasko, a field care associate at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, US Equestrian’s Official Equine Pharmacy and Veterinary Service Provider.

So veterinarians and horse owners today use a different strategy to maximize dewormers’ effectiveness and keep potentially harmful internal parasites at bay. Here’s what you need to know:

The target.

“People used to target for the large strongyles, and that’s kind of how we got into the two-month rotational deworming cycle that we now have to move away from,” said Pasko. “Those large strongyles are still a concern if they’re in a horse in large numbers, but today we have them pretty much under control. So the ones that we’re targeting now are the small strongyles and the tapeworms in our adult horses.”

Your horse’s immune system is your ally.

“Horses have some natural immunity to worms,” said Pasko. “Different horses are going to have different immune status, just like they would to anything else their immune system is exposed to. We’ve found that in a horse that doesn’t need deworming frequently, you don’t see any additional health benefits by deworming him more often than he needs. The only thing that does is help accelerate the process of dewormer resistance.”

Resistance risk factors.

Frequently deworming a horse that doesn’t need it is one. Another: only using the same type of dewormer every time. “Different worms are sensitive to different dewormers,” said Pasko. “So if you use the same type of dewormer over and over again, you’re not affecting the worms that aren’t sensitive to it.” Worse, you’re actually encouraging the worms that are sensitive to it to become resistant.

“The worms are going to try to survive,” Pasko explained. “So the ones that have genes that allow them to expel the dewormer or be insensitive to it are the ones that are going to be left, so effectively you’d be selecting for those resistant worms. You want a worm population that has sensitive worms so that when you use a dewormer you actually get an effect.”

Monitor your horse’s fecal egg count.

“For adult horses, we recommend doing a fecal egg count both in the spring and in the fall,” said Pasko. “We’re looking at the amount of eggs that horse is shedding, and the fecal egg count the best tool we have to evaluate that so we can tailor the deworming to the horse’s specific needs. We use that to determine whether a horse is a high, low, or moderate shedder, based on the number of eggs we count per gram of feces, and we base our deworming recommendations on those categories.”

Pasko recommends taking a fecal egg count in the spring and fall, when worms tend to shed more eggs. Different dewormers have different lengths of effectiveness, but, in general, you want to make sure to take the fecal egg count when the most recent dewormer you’ve given is just past its window of effectiveness—your vet can help with the proper timing, which will help you get an accurate picture of how many eggs your horse is shedding.

To test for resistance to a specific dewormer type, consider taking a fecal egg reduction count (FERC), too.

“For that, you take your initial fecal egg count, then deworm the horse with the appropriate dewormer, and then a couple of weeks later you take a second fecal egg count (the FERC),” explained Pasko. “You’re looking to compare the number of eggs in the first fecal egg count versus the amount in the second. Your vet will be looking for a certain percentage of decrease in those numbers, and if the count doesn’t reach that percentage, then there’s a suspicion that you might have some resistance to that dewormer. That might influence the dewormer choices you make.”

Testing multiple horses in a herd—provided the horses have been on the property for some time and haven’t recently shipped in from elsewhere—can provide a good general picture of how widespread any resistance might be, Pasko added. Be sure to include the highest egg-shedders to get a clearer picture of dewormers’ effectiveness.

Your horse needs a tailored deworming schedule.

Your vet will also consider the climate where your horse lives when making a deworming recommendation, but broadly speaking, Pasko says, “Low shedders really only need to be dewormed once or twice a year, both for strongyles and tapeworms. For moderate shedders, we usually recommend those twice-yearly dewormings as well as one or two additional dewormings in spring and fall, because those are the times when the worms are shedding the most eggs. For the high shedders, you have the basic twice-a-year deworming for strongyles and tapeworms, and then we’d recommend two to three additional dewormings divided up between the spring and the fall, depending on how the seasons progress where the horse is located.”

Mix it up.

Vary the types of dewormers, but consult with your veterinarian, who can help you determine when to use what. “Different dewormers work for strongyles than on tapeworms, so what you use depends on what you’re targeting,” said Pasko. “The twice-a-year dewormings are targeting strongyles and tapeworms, and the additional deworming targets strongyles.”

“Deworm” your pastures, too.

The goal of a good deworming protocol isn’t only to deworm your horse. It’s also to decrease environmental contamination. “We’re really trying to decrease egg-shedding into the environment, where it can then be picked up by other horses,” Pasko said.

Where practical, periodically removing manure from pastures and turnout areas where horses graze is one idea. Controlling pasture population density is also helpful: a crowded pasture means more manure in more places where horses graze, and that’s how worms spread. If you spread manure on your grazing fields, Pasko says, be sure the manure is composted first.

“Composting manure properly should take care of any larvae that was in that manure,” she said. “But when you spread uncomposted manure that has live larvae in it, you’re just contaminating your pastures more.”

Sunday, March 05, 2017

700,000-Year-Old Horse Found in Yukon Permafrost Yields Oldest DNA Ever Decoded

Westerndigs.org - Full Article

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 19, 2013
BY BLAKE DE PASTINO

The frozen remains of a horse more than half a million years old have reluctantly given up their genetic secrets, providing scientists with the oldest DNA ever sequenced.

The horse was discovered in 2003 in the ancient permafrost of Canada’s west-central Yukon Territory, not far from the Alaskan border.

And although the animal was dated to between 560,000 and 780,000 years old, an international team of researchers was able to use a new combination of techniques to decipher its genetic code.

Among the team’s findings is that the genus Equus — which includes all horses, donkeys, and zebras — dates back more than 4 million years, twice as long ago as scientists had previously believed...

Read more here:
http://westerndigs.org/700000-year-old-horse-found-in-yukon-permafrost-yields-oldest-dna-ever-decoded/

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Stocking Up; A Pain in the Leg

Nouvelleresearch.com - Full Article

Tom Schell, D.V.M.
Nouvelle Research, Inc.
www.nouvelleresearch.com

Stocking up is a familiar term to many horse owners and often is used to refer to a horse that exhibits leg swelling. The exact cause of the swelling can be variable and with this, so can the prescribed treatment course. The more we understand, often the better we can assist these patients, but it is a complicated problem in the equine industry.

One of the most common scenarios amongst horse owners is to have a horse that stocks up or swells up in one or more legs, especially after stall rest or even one night of confinement. Terms including lymphedema, lymphangitis, cellulitus are commonly used, having similar clinical findiings but different origins. We have many remedies for these situaitons, but often the problem persists despite, coming and going with moderate variability. In order to understand the problem, we must have a deeper look at anatomy and physiology.

Blood travels to the horse's limbs via arteries, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, then returns back to the heart via veins. The blood in the arteries is under pressure, which is determined by the heart rate, vascular resistance of the blood vessel and blood fluid volume. This pressure drops once the blood begins to return to the heart in the veins. Given the lack of significant pressure to assist the flow back to the heart, it is generally accepted that movement and pressure within the equine foot, actually serves as a heart, helping to pump the blood back up the leg. Horses are often referred to as having 5 hearts, implying a true heart in the chest and one heart per foot...

Read more here:
https://nouvelleresearch.com/index.php/articles/398-stocking-up-a-pain-in-the-leg

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The art of Turkmen horse breeding

Tehrantimes.com - Article and Pictures

Sat 25, February
The art of Turkmen horse breeding

Turkmen horses are one of the most beautiful horse breed of Iran dominantly found in Turkmen Sahra, a region located in northeastern Iran bordering Turkmenistan. The Turkmen horse was originally an oriental horse breed from the steppes of Central Asia which is now extinct. Some horses bred in Iran and Turkmenistan today are still referred to as Turkmen, and have similar characteristics. The Turkmen horse is noted for its endurance, bravery and smartness. It has a slender body and the breed is actually one of the toughest in the world. They have a reputation for speed, endurance, intelligence, and a distinctive metallic sheen. Many theories have been formulated to explain why hair of the Turkmen horse and its descendants shines, but none explain why the this breed in particular benefitted from this genetic difference and why other horses would not. Although Turkmen horse breeding is a very popular among the Turkmen people the officials won’t take it very serious. Here are some photos depicting Turkmen horse breeding in Raz and Jargalan, North Khorasan province.

Tehran Times/ Mohsen Rezaee

See photos here:
http://www.tehrantimes.com/photo/411416/The-art-of-Turkmen-horse-breeding

Friday, February 24, 2017

Equine Ulcers – You Really Need To Know More!

DrKerryRidgway.com - Full Article

July 5 2016

Ulcers in the digestive track are more than just the latest “disease du jour.” Thus far, for a problem that has been recognized for about 20 years, we are still seeing and understanding only the tip of a metaphorical iceberg. More than two thirds of the iceberg is still not visible and much is still being discovered about this ulcer “iceberg.” We do know that there are, basically, only two kinds of horses – those who have ulcers and those who will have ulcers!

We should all recognize that gastric and intestinal ulcers are literally a slow or non-healing acid burn – a burn such as if hydrochloric acid was splashed on your face. The horse’s ulcers are a combination of this hydrochloric acid, as well as volatile fatty acids and bile acids. In horses, the acid burns holes into the lining of the stomach, small or large bowel. The acids may burn a crater deeply enough to cause bleeding or even burn through and penetrate the gut. When the acid burn craters do heal they can create scar tissue and strictures, especially in the small intestine that may lead to colic.

Therefore, the real purpose of this paper is three fold.

1. The first purpose is to provide a short synopsis regarding the dangers and sometimes-dire consequences of ulcers.
2. The second is to alert you to the signs and symptoms pointing to the presence of ulcers.
3. The third, and a very important purpose: Empower you to use a simple examination technique that can give a very strong presumptive diagnosis of GI ulcers. This technique can, in many cases, bypass the need for endoscopic examination if, for example, this procedure is not readily available or is not affordable. Confirmation by administration of appropriate medications is often used as a diagnostic tool and confirmation of a “presumptive” diagnosis.

Twelve Good Reasons to Understand GI Ulcers in Horses:

1. Ulcers increase the risk to the horse’s health, safety and welfare
2. Ulcers increase the risk to the rider’s safety and welfare
3. Ulcers cause loss of performance and competitive edge
4. Ulcers can upset or interrupt an entire competition schedule
5. Ulcers are very expensive to treat and to resolve – recurrence is common
6. Ulcers cause many “behavioral” problems
7. Ulcers set up many muscle, myofascial and chiropractic issues
8. Ulcers increase risk of injury and lameness as a result of number seven (Musculo-skeletal problems
9. Ulcers increase the risk of colic and diarrhea problems
10. Ulcer stress may deplete the immune system and make a horse more susceptible to disease
11. Ulcers often create “hard keepers” and cause weight loss. The result – an unthrifty horse. (However, some horses with excellent weight also have ulcers)
12. Toxins released from altered gut flora increase a risk of laminitis/founder

Read more here:
http://drkerryridgway.com/2016/07/05/equine-ulcers/

Monday, February 20, 2017

Outlook: Cinnamon for Equine Health?

KER.Equinews.com - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · February 3, 2017

A recent flurry of research activity pertaining to the medical effects of cinnamon suggests the tasty spice could have benefits for horses.

“Cinnamon supplementation provides yet another example of a traditional herbal medicine making a comeback to benefit modern medical patients,” said Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

Research* in this field revealed many potential health benefits associated with cinnamon, including:

• Antioxidant properties. These specialized molecules protect the body against a variety of degenerative processes caused by exuberant oxygen molecules, such as arthritis, neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorders, and cancer.

• Antidiabetic effects. Horses don’t develop type 2 diabetes like humans; however, they certainly suffer from similar glucose and insulin dysregulatory issues that contribute to insulin resistance and equine metabolic syndrome, both of which go hand in hand with laminitis.

• Antimicrobial activity. Cinnamon and other plant-derived products were used years ago to fight infections. In light of the growing population of antibiotic-resistant antibiotic strains, interest in plant products capable of warding off infection has renewed...

Read more here:
http://ker.equinews.com/article/outlook-cinnamon-equine-health?utm_source=KER+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2ec0028269-ker-horse-nutri-kentucky-equine-02_15_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0d95781dfc-2ec0028269-11166

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Save the Date for the AHC’s Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum

Horsecouncil.org

February 13 2017

Theme to be “The Power of Unity”

Where can you find people involved in every segment of the equine world working together to advance our industry?

How can you find out what projects and initiatives are being worked on in every corner of the equine industry?

The answer: the American Horse Council’s (AHC) Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health! Save the Date on your calendars for June 11-14, 2017 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC.

“Even if you are not a member of the American Horse Council, we encourage anyone involved in the industry to try to attend our Annual Meeting and Issues Forum,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “This is the only meeting where every segment of the industry gets together to discuss issues of importance to not only their respective fields, but to the industry as a whole.”

Monday, June 12, will see committee meetings for the 5 committees the AHC has: Animal Welfare, Horse Show, Health & Regulatory, Recreation, and Racing. “Anyone is welcome to attend any committee meeting they like until they go into executive session. In fact, we encourage people to attend as many as they can to get an idea of what the AHC is working on within each committee,” said Ms. Broadway.

Monday will also spotlight the Van Ness Award, which is given to a member of a State Horse Council who has shown leadership and service to the horse community in his or her state.

The theme of the National Issues Forum (NIF) on Tuesday, June 13, will be “The Power of Unity,” and will feature keynote speaker Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, which is the national umbrella organization representing all segments of travel in America. “The U.S. Travel Association works to engage, connect and inform the travel industry,” said Mr. Dow, “similar to how the AHC seeks to inform and engage all segments of the equine industry. Although different in the types of businesses we work with, the AHC and the Travel Association are similar in that we both encourage working together to advance the industry.”

Additionally, a panel of researchers from the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, AAEP Foundation, AQHA Foundation, Horses & Humans Research Foundation, and Colorado State University’s Temple Grandin Equine Center will discuss the importance of research for the industry, as well as any research they have done and its significance. Allyn Mann, of Lutipold Animal Health, will be the moderator for the panel.

The Innovation Group will also provide a progress report on the update of the National Economic Impact Study- of which its findings are certainly highly anticipated. The AHC will also present its new strategic plan to give attendees an idea of what the AHC will be undertaking in the years ahead.

At the conclusion of the Issues Forum, breakout sessions will be set up to allow groups to have further discussion about topics they found particularly interesting.

Please check the Events
tab on the AHC website where a tentative schedule, room reservation information, and more will be posted there in the upcoming weeks.

If you have any questions, please contact the AHC at info@horsecouncil.org

Saturday, February 18, 2017

‘Unbranded’ character responds to accusation of ‘mustang neglect’

HCN.org - Full Article

Ben Masters rebukes a recent opinion piece on his 2015 documentary.

Ben Masters OPINION
Feb. 10, 2017

Ben Masters is a filmmaker, writer, and horse hand who splits his time between Bozeman, Montana, and Austin, Texas. Masters studied wildlife management at Texas A&M University and serves as wildlife management chair for the volunteer BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Follow him on Twitter @bencmasters

Last week High Country News released an opinion article by Libby Blanchard that portrayed the film Unbranded, in which I am a character, in a scathing manner that ultimately called for wild horse lovers to “stay away” from the film. I was shocked to hear about the criticism of a film that resulted in hundreds of wild horse adoptions, raised nearly $100,000 for the Mustang Heritage Foundation, and had an entire theatrical release centered around fundraising and press to increase wild horse adoptions.

In addition to calling for a boycott of the film, Blanchard wrote: “As wrong as it was for these young men to treat their mustangs neglectfully, it is also unfortunate for the public to accept this behavior.” While I don’t profess to be a saint by any means, the accusation that we treated our mustangs neglectfully is a remark that stings especially deep, as I spend huge amounts of time and money trying to take care of my horses as properly as possible. Did we make mistakes? Yes. Could we have done better? Yes. But hindsight is 20/20, and I don’t know anyone who’s spent a long time around horses who hasn’t experienced a horse injury, despite their best efforts, of some kind...

Read more here:
http://www.hcn.org/articles/unbranded-documentary-character-responds-to-accusation-of-mustang-neglect?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

Things You Should and Should Not Put on a Horse's Wound

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor
Feb 18, 2016

Horse owners and veterinarians have been treating equine wounds for centuries. After all, horses are unabashedly practiced at the art of sustaining wounds. Over the years we’ve tried many different wound ointments and salves, cleansers and dressings, but not all of them are backed by evidence of safety and/or efficacy.

So Dean Hendrickson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, professor of equine surgery at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, went back to basics, describing effective and ineffective wound-cleaning agents to an audience of veterinarians at the 2015 Annual American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9, in Las Vegas.

Although our intentions are good, “most wound-cleaning agents and techniques will cause chemical or mechanical trauma to the wound bed,” he said. “Weigh the benefits of cleaning the wound against the trauma that agent will cause.”

In other words, ask yourself: Is that cleaning agent ultimately going to speed up or retard wound-healing?...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/37165/things-you-should-and-should-not-put-on-a-horses-wound?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=reader-favorites&utm_campaign=02-17-2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

How to Tell if Your Saddle Hurts Your Horse

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Feb 14, 2017

In recent years, researchers have conducted several studies that make one thing crystal clear: A properly fitting saddle is key to keeping any ridden horse healthy and performing at its best. But how, exactly, can you tell if your saddle doesn’t fit your horse?

At the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida, Scott Anderson, DVM, reviewed how veterinarians and owners can tell if the saddle is causing a horse pain in six easy steps. Anderson is a sport horse practitioner and owner of Woodside Equine Clinic, in Ashland, Virginia.

“The initial examination is performed with the horse standing squarely and without a saddle pad,” Anderson said. Then, he said, place the saddle on the horse’s back so the front of the flaps don’t interfere with the scapulae’s (shoulders) movement when the horse is working. This is usually 3 to 5 centimeters (about 1 to 2 inches) behind the scapulae, he added.

Once your saddle is in place, you’re ready to start your evaluation...

Read more here:
No comments:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

When Winter Laminitis Strikes Out Of Nowhere

Americanfarrier.com - Full Article

By Eleanor Kellon VMD posted on February 8, 2017

For the insulin resistant horse, winter laminitis can strike seemingly out of nowhere, with no change in diet or management and some puzzling inconsistencies.

The horse may not necessarily have a prior history of laminitis. The pain is often severe, but the feet aren’t hot as they are in classical acute laminitis cases. The digital pulses may or may not be elevated. Radiographs tend to remain stable in most cases; without major changes with rotation or sinking. NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories) like phenylbutazone, which are commonly used any time there is foot pain similar to this, have no positive effect.

It can be confusing when the horse looks like a typical laminitis case, but without the heat and high pulses. Inadequate blood supply is the perfect explanation. The body’s normal response to cold is to constrict blood vessels in the periphery to reduce heat losses, but in IR horses the reaction appears to be exaggerated. This is because of the well-documented role of the potent vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 in IR horses, with the most recent study confirming that endothelin-1 is involved with laminitis because of elevated blood insulin...

- See more at: https://www.americanfarriers.com/articles/8965-when-winter-laminitis-strikes-out-of-nowhere#sthash.64RCx1Xb.dpuf

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Author Interview with Endurance Rider Kasey Riley

MarciaWeber Blog - Full Story

by Marcia Weber Martins
12 Feb 2017

Today I welcome Kasey Riley of “Desperate Endurance”, “August Fire” and “The Skeleton Trail”

With over twenty years of horse ownership and Endurance riding to her credit, Kasey Riley (Kim) brings a wealth of knowledge to her novels. Her love of the trail, outdoors, and rural living give color and vibrancy to her books. This realism has drawn many readers to her novels. She strives to make readers see through the eyes of her characters and imagine themselves enmeshed in the plot.

Her first two novels are mysteries with romances building around them and the third is a romance, which uses suspense to draw the couple together as they strive to stay alive. She plans on each book being a stand-alone novel that can be read in any sequence without the reader missing details of the story. Her current work in progress comes from a discussion between Kasey and her husband, Jeff, in one of the several drives between Oklahoma and their new home in Tennessee. Tossing around an idea about a young woman who keeps being involved in mysterious violence. Then coming up with an idea as to why she’s involved and solving the situation kept them occupied for many miles. Kasey’s mind sees every news article as a possible story plot for her characters.

When not writing or riding, she enjoys reading a wide variety of genre novels and sounding out new plots on her husband of 40+ years. Together, they moved two horses, four dogs, two cats and all their assorted belongings from SE Oklahoma to Central Tennessee in 2016. Now able to ride out the back door, Kasey finds less time to write, but has many viable ideas to work from. Soon she will have “Do Not Assume” completed and be able to get back to the young adult work in progress she set aside when the mystery of Do Not Assume kept distracting her.

Since the horrible forest fires in the Gatlinburg, TN area in November, Kasey has committed all of her royalties to the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund to aid the hundreds of victims who have lost everything in the wake of the fires. Details can be found on her website:

www.kaseyriley.com Even those who choose to use their Kindle Unlimited accounts to read her works will help this effort since the royalties all are paid to the Foundation for 2017.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing in one form or another for years. Essays, monthly newsletters, and short stories have been submitted and even won contests since my early 20’s. I finally got the chance to really sit down and write after we sold our online catalog back in 2012. My first novel, Desperate Endurance was published in 2013.

What motivated you to start writing?

I got serious about writing after becoming very irritated at another author who completely misrepresented my sport of Endurance Horse Riding/Racing. I knew I could do better and show readers the true nature of the sport. So I did...

Read more here:
https://marciacweber.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/author-interview-12/

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The 2017 Time to Ride Challenge: More Winners, More Ways to Win!

The contest’s fourth year will bring significant changes, including more cash prizes than ever before.

Georgetown, TX, February 7, 2017 - The Time to Ride Challenge, a grassroots competition that offers support and incentives to businesses growing the horse industry, will return for its fourth year in 2017. This year’s contest will award more cash than ever before and introduce significant structure changes to help contestants focus on creating new long-term horse enthusiasts.

Since 2014, the Challenge has introduced nearly 100,000 new enthusiasts to horses through more than 2,000 fun, beginner-friendly, hands-on horse events that kick-start a lifelong journey with horses. In 2017, that same structure will comprise Phase I of the Challenge: $40,000 cash plus prizes will be awarded to the hosts who introduce the greatest number of newcomers through these events. New in 2017, Phase II will award an equal amount of cash and prizes to the hosts who encourage the most newcomers to return for a more personal, in-depth horse experience, such as a riding lesson. By doing so, hosts will help newcomers cement newcomers’ connections with horses, while directly building their own businesses.

While competing hosts have always cited the business-building benefits of the Challenge as a main motivation for participating, this structure shift will directly place $40,000 worth of cash and prizes behind the goal of getting newcomers regularly involved in their programs through riding and other equine activities. The 2017 Challenge will now measure not only how many newcomers have a single introductory horse experience, but how many of that population become actively involved thereafter.

“The Challenge is a unique contest that’s constantly evolving to provide the best experience for competing hosts while achieving its mission of growing the horse industry,” said Time to Ride spokesperson Christie Schulte. “It’s evolved to a point where we will be able to measure the number of new participants entering the horse industry and regularly, actively participating as riders, students, volunteers, and eventually owners, competitors, shoppers, and organization members.”

Last year, over 78% of participating businesses and groups reported that their participation in the Challenge resulted in a positive effect on their businesses - new clients, students, or members. In 2016, thirty winners across three divisions took home a cash prize; in 2017, fifty or more will!

Competing in the Challenge is free and registration opens March 1st. Stables, clubs, businesses, instructors, veterinarians, and all other horse professionals are welcome. Upon creating an account, users will receive a point on the Time to Ride map and have access to a marketing toolkit and other supporting resources. For more information, please visit https://www.timetoride.com/time-to-ride-challenge/ or contact info@timetoride.com.

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. Since 2014, Time to Ride programs have introduced nearly 100,000 newcomers to horses and helped grow 78% of the participating horse businesses. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, The Right Horse Initiative, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, ASPCA, Equibrand, the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Lumina Media, Pyranha Inc., the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

About the American Horse Council

The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s marketing alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

Contact: Christie Schulte - info@timetoride.com or 512-591-7811

Positive Hoof Changes

Easycare Blog - Full Article

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by Guest HCP

Submitted by Sossity Gargiulo, Wild Hearts Hoof Care

I was recently asked by EasyCare to write up a few words about our trimming theory and approach. This always ends up being quite difficult to be succinct with, as there are so many ways depending on the horse. But, at our foundation we believe that the hoof is a highly adaptable “smart structure” as said by Dr. Taylor of Auburn University. The hoof is capable of positive change given the opportunity with supportive trims, diet and lifestyle. We have seen it over and over and over again in our hoof care practice.

We have found that if you help the hoof a little bit with your trim, by setting it up to grow better between cycles, making sure the horse is comfortable to move properly with minimal or no compensative movement, and then get out of their way, they can develop a pretty awesome hoof. It may not be the picture in some people’s mind of The Perfect Hoof, but it can be a pretty awesome, functional, sound and improving hoof for that horse...

- See more at: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/insights-from-the-inside/positive-changes#sthash.GjxKd2y4.dpuf

Friday, February 03, 2017

The challenge of catastrophic bone fractures in endurance

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

February 3, 2017
Neil Clarkson

The sport of endurance has suffered irreparable harm in recent years over catastrophic leg injuries to horses.

The images we have seen out of the Middle East over the years have been harrowing.

Followers of the sport don’t need me to tell them that the United Arab Emirates has been a hot-spot for such catastrophic failures, no doubt due to the fast desert courses and the speeds that result. The big prizes on offer and the use of jockey-style riders are hardly conducive to horse welfare, either.

I have advocated before for the grading of endurance courses, in which races on tracks that are assessed as “fast” are run under more stringent parameters. However, even that would be only part of the solution.

These leg fractures may be catastrophic, but research suggests there is a common background that sets horses on a path to these leg breaks...

Read more: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/02/03/challenge-catastrophic-bone-fractures-endurance/#ixzz4Xdn3BOhR




Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Australia: Latest Equine Hendra Case 'Unusual,' Veterinarians Say

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Edited Press Release
Jan 6, 2017

Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA), a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association, says the Hendra virus case confirmed in a horse near Casino, New South Wales, last week revealed unusual signs and aspects of the disease.

Ben Poole, BVSc, MANZCVS, EVA spokesman, said that this latest case in northeastern New South Wales makes dealing with Hendra even more complicated and concerning.

“The facts of the case would suggest the horse may have initially received a low infectious dose of the virus that eventually led to the horse succumbing to the disease, after an unusually protracted illness,” he said. “What’s different about this case is that the horse initially tested negative for Hendra virus after losing weight for two weeks and presenting with a sore mouth. It was given medication and the horse started recuperating while in quarantine on the farm.

“A week later the horse deteriorated rapidly and died a few days later,” he continued. “A nasal swab taken from the carcass a week after the horse died returned a positive test for Hendra virus. Further testing of tissue samples indicated that the horse had mounted an immune response to the virus.”

Poole said this demonstrates the difficulty of making an initial diagnosis of Hendra virus infection, and highlights the risk that Hendra virus poses to anyone including horse owners, veterinarians, and those who come in contact with horses displaying vague signs of illness.

“That’s why vaccination of horses against Hendra virus is important for managing the risks involved with the disease,” he said. “The summer timing of this case in the Northern Rivers is unusual and is probably due to food shortages and environmental stress on the bats in the area – so it’s really important to be vigilant all year round...”

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/38641/latest-equine-hendra-case-unusual-veterinarians-say?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=welfare-industry&utm_campaign=01-12-2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Night Tips from a Pilot (and others)

Melnewton.com - Full Article

January 29 2017
by Mel Newton
The running, riding, writing veterinarian

When I was helping my husband study for his private pilot’s license, I ran across a section about night flying. Some of the recommendations made a lot of sense for riding at night on the trails too.

Unlike running when I usually where a bright headlamp (and sometimes carry a flashlight too) to illuminate the trail before me, riding at night is an exercise of trust in your equine partner.

Using a white light seriously impacts the horse’s night vision – and longer than it impacts ours because there are some physiological differences in their eye that makes the horse eye BETTER at night, but also takes it longer to adapt to the darkness once exposed to light.

Unless you were reading my blog 8 years ago, you might have missed this post where I explain how a horse’s night vision works. (a little aside – that Standardbred team pictured, Gunsmoke and Buttercup, were the BEST. That post was written at a time when *Minx was still alive, ML wasn’t even born, Farley was my back up horse, the blog had a different name, running an ultra was laughably ridiculous, and riding 100 miles was just a dream. ) *Actually, she may have died earlier in the month that post is from, but now I’m too lazy to verify.

So instead of investing in the best new headlight technology, you are going to be going down the trail with a minimum of light. Perhaps a few glowbars attached to the breast collar, a red light headlamp if you need to check something out, and if you are lucky – a moon...

Read more here:
http://melnewton.com/2017/night-tips-from-a-pilot-and-others/

Saturday, January 28, 2017

LDs, 50s, 100s and UGs

EnduranceInstrospection.com - Full Article

By Patti Stedman | January 22nd, 2017

No, don’t worry, you haven’t slept through the sanctioning of a new AERC-sanctioned distance.

Ultimate Goals, or UGs, are a concept stolen from my friend Kathy Viele, an accomplished combined training (“eventing”) and dressage rider, and a veteran fox hunter.

Some time ago, she penned her sentiments about her Ultimate Goals for her riding and her relationship with her horses. I loved it so much, I begged her to let me use it for a sidebar for an Endurance News article I’d written. Her equestrian pursuits are in a different discipline, so her terminology may be a bit foreign to purist endurance riders, but her concepts are spot on for many conscientious horsepeople.

Here’s what Kathy had to say:

Ultimate Goal

Lots of people get stressed by competition, concerned about judging and test riding and politics and expensive equipment, get frustrated with progress (or perceived lack thereof) or scores. And often they quit having fun riding and spend more time frustrated than enjoying themselves and their horse. It many cases, the rider has lost sight of, or more often has never established, their Ultimate Goal (aka UGTM).

My ultimate goal is to have a happy, athletic horse who is a pleasure to ride and do things with. A horse who enjoys our time together, as do I. I feel I owe my horses good care and an ongoing effort to improve my riding and horsemanship. I owe them consideration (of likes and dislikes and personality and quirks) and sympathy and good care. I do not owe them Olympic-caliber riding, so I don’t go down the road of feeling guilty that I’m not a Great Rider—I am on an ongoing quest to improve and I am getting better. I try not to get caught up in a single score or a single competition. When I compete, I like it when things go well and we can show off our training and where we are, but my UG is not winning a particular class or a particular competition or even a year-end award. If those things happen, they are nice, but they aren’t my UG. And if things go poorly I try to learn from them and keep in mind my UG...

Read more here:
http://enduranceintrospection.com/lds-50s-100s-and-ugs/

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tips for Rehabbing Soft Tissue Injuries in Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Jan 20, 2017

“Prevention is the best treatment” for any horse health issue, said Andris J. Kaneps, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR. “But we all know that we can put a horse in a padded room, wrapped in bubble wrap, and we’ll still have issues that we’ll need to address.”

Yes, horses are incredibly skilled at injuring themselves, and some of the most common ailments include soft tissues like tendons and ligaments. That’s why veterinarians must be well-versed at treating and rehabilitating such issues.

At the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida, Kaneps, who owns Kaneps Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery, in Beverly, Massachusetts, reviewed best practices for rehabilitating soft tissue injuries...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/38691/tips-for-rehabbing-soft-tissue-injuries-in-horses?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=sports-medicine&utm_campaign=01-22-2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Pyramid Society Announces New Egyptian Arabian Riders UP Recognition Program

Lexington, KY – (January 19, 2017) The Pyramid Society’s New Riders UP Recognition Program is now open for enrollment! The program is designed to reward riders throughout North America and abroad with prizes and recognition for spending non-competitive hours in the saddle with their Egyptian Arabian horses. This program offers complimentary enrollment for all eligible horses with no Pyramid Society membership requirements.

“This program is a direct result of the feedback we’ve received from the Egyptian Arabian horse community. The Performance Horse Award program has been a great success with those participating in open competition, and so we have taken this next step to recognize and reward those riders who are either preparing to compete or simply just enjoy riding their horses for pleasure. We invite and encourage your participation and sponsorship to help assure the continued growth of this valuable program.” states Jaleen Hacklander, Chair of the Performance Horse Award Program Committee.

Participants keep track of the time they spend riding in non-competitive activities and special awards will be presented as each level of participation is reached. Hours count in the following non-competitive activities: trail riding, lessons, parades, pleasure riding, therapeutic riding, schooling sessions & other non-competitive events and activities.

For complete program information and guidelines and sponsorship information, visit www.ridersupprogram.com; call (859) 231-0771 or email Carol@PyramidSociety.org.

ABOUT THE PYRAMID SOCIETY

The Pyramid Society is the world’s leading international membership organization dedicated to the Egyptian Arabian horse. Founded in 1969, it has maintained its mission to promote and advance these unique bloodlines through educational venues, local and regional activities, international representation and an active online community. The Society’s focus culminates at the Egyptian Event, the organization’s breed showcase and competition held at The Kentucky Horse Park annually the first week in June.

Contact:
The Pyramid Society
Carol Aldridge, Member Services
Phone: (859)-231-0771
Carol@pyramidsociety.org
http://www.pyramidsociety.org

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Qatar: An enduring tale

Gulf-times.com - Full Article

January 16 2017

From being powerful war horses to pulling Egyptian chariots with stellar speed and thereby earning the nickname ‘Drinkers of the Wind’, the Arabian horse has spearheaded equine endurance and elegance, right from its estimated origins circa 500 B.C.
Arguably, the most popular horse breed in the world, the Arabian horse is used today in a variety of disciplines; western, saddle seat, dressage, to name a few.

In an interesting talk organised by the Qatar Natural History Group (QNHG) at Al Shaqab last week, Dr Mats Troedsson, Consultant Director of Al Shaqab Equine Veterinary Medical Centre, and Professor at the University of Kentucky, MHG Equine Research Centre, discussed at length the glorious history of the Arabian horse, its importance in the history of Qatar, and current strategies for horse breeding and equine welfare at Al Shaqab.

Qualified at the Royal Veterinary College, Stockholm, Dr Troedsson has a PhD in Reproductive Immunology from the University of California, Davis, and 40 years of experience in Equine Veterinary care and Academia, most recently as Director of the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Centre.

Community caught up with Dr Troedsson, one of world’s leading experts on Equine reproduction, for a chat...

Read more here:
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/528312/An-enduring-tale

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The State of the Microchip

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM
Jan 10, 2017

More horse organizations are requiring owners to use this identification technology

Countless dog and cat owners can attest to the value of microchipping. These are the people who have spent sleepless nights agonizing over their pets’ disappearance and whereabouts until they receive that phone call with the comforting words, “Your dog is at the local animal shelter; we scanned him for a microchip and found your contact information.”

This practice of microchipping is also becoming prevalent throughout the horse world—but for reasons beyond simply IDing a lost equid. Many competitive organizations and breed registries are now requiring it for ease of identifying individual horses...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/38647/the-state-of-the-microchip

South Africa: Mounted patrols return to KNP to help prevent rhino poaching

CapricornReview.co.za - Full Article

January 11 2017

It has been decades since the last horses were used in KNP as they have been replaced by motorised vehicles.


LIMPOPO – The Kruger National Park (KNP) has had a long association with horses.

Merchants and explorers used horses to travel through the area but made sure to only do this during times when the Tsetse flies, which carried the deadly sleeping sickness, were less active. The Steinackers Horse Brigade was deployed to patrol the area during the Anglo Boer War. In the early days rangers were dependent on horses as their primary means of transport to fulfill their daily duties. A good horse was invaluable, especially if it had immunity against horse sickness.

History has recorded the legendary escapade of Game Warden Harry Wolhüter who was attacked by a lion while on horseback in the Lindanda area of the KNP. Wolhüter escaped miraculously by killing the lion with his sheath knife.

It has been decades since the last horses were used in KNP as they have been replaced by motorised vehicles.

This year marks the return of horses to active duty in KNP. Horses are now again being deployed for anti-poaching patrols and a pilot project has been launched to test the viability and effectiveness of mounted patrols.

Karien Keet, SANParks section ranger for Phalaborwa, is in charge of the pilot programme. Keet is the ideal person to manage the experiment as she has a long association with horses and is an experienced rider. She is a firm believer that it will not only be an effective tool in the fight against poaching, but that it will benefit conservation management too...

Read more here:
http://capricornreview.co.za/106060/mounted-patrols-return-to-knp-to-help-prevent-rhino-poaching/

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

6 Diseases you can Catch from your Horse

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Written by: Nicole Kitchener

Find out which gross and potentially fatal diseases you can get from your horse, and how to avoid them.

There are indeed some diseases that can be transmitted from horses to humans. Diseases that are communicable between animals and humans are called zoonotic. Luckily, most of those we can catch from horses are avoidable with good sanitation and biosecurity, although some can be quite dangerous.

ZOONOTIC DISEASES

People who work with or spend time around horses should be aware of the zoonotic diseases that exist and be ready to deal with them if necessary.

Leptospirosis

What is it?

A bacterial infection linked to abortion in pregnant mares and the chronic eye condition equine recurrent uveitis (ERU or moon blindness). The spiral-shaped bacteria, Leptospira, are highly capable of movement, allowing them to spread through the bloodstream and affect various organs.

Symptoms

Mild illness: fever, lethargy, loss of appetite
Rarely kidney and/or liver failure
Respiratory distress
Mid- to late-term abortion
Birth of weak foals
Eye swelling, light sensitivity, excessive tearing, discharge, cloudiness, redness, muscle spasms, blindness...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/magazine_articles/6-diseases-you-can-catch-from-your-horse/?utm_source=Enews+Jan+9%2C+2017&utm_campaign=EnewsJan92017&utm_medium=email

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The ‘Hind Gut Acidity’ Problem

Horsenetwork.com - Full Article

It’s the trendy diagnosis, but is it a dangerous ride?


by ELEANOR KELLON, VMD
January 3 2017

Hind gut acidity, sometimes used synonymously with hind gut ulcers, is blamed for a staggering array of signs ranging from poor appetite, cracked hooves, right hind lameness and any undesirable behavior trait you can mention. It’s bad enough that there is virtually no scientific justification for most of this. Worse yet is that the treatments suggested could be harmful.

Enteroliths are stones that form inside the intestines when minerals precipitate around a core of nondigestible material. The core could be things like a wood fragment, piece of string or bit of rubber fencing. Most enteroliths are composed of struvite—magnesium ammonium phosphate.

Several factors have been identified as risks for enterolith formation. High intake of magnesium, phosphorus or protein is certainly one. The ammonium forms from bacterial breakdown of protein. Risk factors can vary between cases but one universal finding is an alkaline environment in the large intestine. If you are feeding your horse a product to increase pH/reduce acidity in the large intestine you are increasing the risk of enterolith formation, especially if the horse didn’t need it in the first place...

Read more here:
http://horsenetwork.com/2017/01/hind-gut-acidity-bandwagon/

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Salt for horses: Researchers delve into this important balancing act

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

January 7, 2017
Horsetalk.co.nz

Common salt is a cheap and important supplement for working horses, but how much is too much?

A German study has delved into supplementation of salt – that’s sodium chloride – in horses in moderate work and compared their findings to widely accepted recommendations.

The level of sodium and chloride in typical horse forages and feeds, especially those non-commercially manufactured, was generally low, the study team noted.

Recommended intakes of sodium and chloride for exercise performance were therefore unlikely to be met by non-supplemented diets, meaning the addition of salt to the diet was commonly recommended.

Annette Zeyner and her colleagues, writing in the open-access peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, said that since equine sweat is rich in sodium, potassium and chloride, diets marginal in these electrolytes may disturb fluid and mineral balance, potentially sparking health problems in exercised horses...

Read more: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/01/07/salt-horses-balancing-act/#ixzz4V5ywbirN


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Algae: The Next Big Thing for Equine Lameness and OA?

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc
Oct 10, 2016

Osteaoarthritis (OA) in horses is a painful condition, frequently resulting in loss of use and economic consequences. Considering there is currently no cure for OA, affected horses are often treated with “the kitchen sink,” meaning owners and even some veterinarians are willing to try just about anything to make an OA-affected horse more comfortable and to slow disease progression … including algae extracts.

“Blue-green algae contains a protein bound pigment called C-phycocyanin that possesses both anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties and has been shown to help humans, dogs, and horses with OA in some studies,” explained Jennifer Taintor, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Alabama.

Because some of the currently used medications for OA are associated with potentially serious adverse reactions, researchers have focused their attention on more natural products, such as blue-green algae extracts, for ameliorating clinical signs of OA...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/35446/algae-the-next-big-thing-for-equine-lameness-and-oa?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=in-depth&utm_campaign=10-15-2016

The New Reality: Microchipping Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Elizabeth Barrett, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS
Oct 13, 2016

It never crossed my mind to skip microchipping my cat or dog. For me identification was just a part of their routine health care, and for that I was grateful when four years ago my cat, Simon, escaped from my apartment when I was traveling out of state. Simon was missing for two weeks before he walked up to a good Samaritan, who picked him up and took him to a local clinic that scanned him and found his microchip. Irresponsibly of me, I hadn’t updated his contact information with the microchip organization in more than a year, but they were able to contact the veterinary clinic where it had been implanted and help reunite me with Simon within 24 hours. It wasn’t our Facebook posts or “Lost Cat” posters or trips to local shelters that did the trick. It was the simple and relatively inexpensive microchip.

Why, then, is it so much less instinctive to microchip our equine companions? A horse is less likely to “run off,” but there are many situations where having a way to positively identify a horse would come in handy. The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has been using microchips for years to verify that horses entered in various high levels of sport are who the owners say they are. It was only a matter of time before the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and other organizations followed suit...

Read more here:
http://www.thehorse.com/articles/38293/the-new-reality-microchipping-horses?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=welfare-industry&utm_campaign=10-13-2016